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Carter to endorse Obama

Former President Jimmy Carter reportedly is set to endorse Barack Obama.

CNN reported Tuesday that Carter was ready to endorse the presidential candidacy of the Illinois senator, who is ahead of his rival for the Democratic nomination, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the pledged delegate count but has not yet won a majority of all delegates.

Carter appears to be timing his announcement with the end of the primaries. Such endorsements are aimed at nudging other unpledged delegates to make a decision and close the nomination process.

However, it also comes less than a day before Obama is to speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference, where he will seek to assuage fears that he is too conciliatory toward Israel’s enemies.

Carter, who brokered Israel-Egyptian peace during his 1977-1981 presidency, has since become a critic of what he says is the excessive influence of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington.

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